Tuesday, January 27, 2015

my last post. sayonara mission blog...hello life as an RM!

Hello (: 

It's so crazy that the time is finally here! I honestly don't feel like I'm going home yet. I feel like this week will go about like normal, and I will continue to be a missionary. It hasn't hit my yet, that my mission is ending. I'm sure it will hit me on the plane though (: or hugging all you guys... Either way it will hit me some time, right? This week was really good! We kept ourselves busy, as usual. We had a lot of good success, and a lot of good lessons! For now, we have Pday, then we have our transfer meeting tomorrow morning, then we have the rest of Tuesday, then we fly out Wednesday morning. I'm not sure what we will be doing all Tuesday, but I guess I will find out! And I'll tell you all about it in a couple days (: I still can't believe I'm going home this week. 

The area is doing fantastic. Paige is doing awesome. She came to church and she said that she learned a lot! We couldn't even sit by her in sacrament meeting because she was surrounded by members. This ward is awesome at that! Jesse also came to church. He only stayed for sacrament meeting, but he was there which was great. Elder Moser, Elder Walker, Elder Driggs and I all went and saw Dee so Elder Moser and I could say good bye to her. It was a great time! Just being able to reflect on her conversion experience. She cried when we left though. ): That was hard to see! But it is good to know that I will see them in a couple weeks! We've got a pretty good schedule worked out of what we will do when Elder Moser and I come back in a couple weeks. It'll be a lot of fun! 

I reflected a lot this week on what I have learned throughout my mission (which is a lot of what my talk will be about). I think the biggest thing that I have learned, or gained, from my mission is to truly love Heavenly Father and Desire to please Him at all times. That has shaped my life, and will direct me in the way I need to go in my life. I'm so grateful for my mission. It truly has been such a blessing to me. I can't thank my Heavenly Father enough for this opportunity to represent His perfect son in His work, especially in this special time of it's hastening. I know that Christ lives and that He is my Savior. I love the Lord, and I love helping Him in His causes! It's such a privilege and honor. My mission truly has not been a sacrifice, because I have received much, much more than what I gave. 

For service this week, we got to go to a care center and sing for the elderly people. That was so much fun! Our district sounds really good together. We all sing at least decently well, and we all harmonize with each other! It was a great time (: 

Well... I guess I'll see you soon? Ha it's crazy that this is my last email. Thank you, always, for your love and support! Have a great couple days til I see you! Love and miss ya (: 

Elder Teeples! 
This is a picture of Elder Driggs, Paige, and I. Paige will be baptized on the 14th of Feb!

This is our final picture with Dee and Shane. Elder Moser and I (and our companions of course) went over last night to say goodbye ): at least for a couple weeks.    P.S. in the picture we were in the home of Ken Daurio, one of the co-screenwriters of Despicable Me (: Pretty sweet. I've got a signed copy of Despicable Me by him and his partner.

We were out exploring the outskirts of our area, trying to find a community that maybe doesn't get missionaries going through it.... ever. And this is where we ended up at one point (: on top of the world! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The spirit of Hastening...is beautiful to behold.


   Dang! Has it really been a week since I've emailed last? I can't believe how fast time is going. I feel like I just emailed you a couple hours ago. Hopefully I can blink at least twice before next Monday comes around.... I hope to make the very best of this week! 
   The area is doing awesome! THE WORK IS TOTALLY HASTENING! Elder Navarrete and Elder Chatterton received a media referral for a girl named Paige. They met her at the church along with another member, and they gave her a church tour and taught her the Restoration, and she already knows the Book of Mormon is true! She's been researching our church for the past 3-4 years online, and wants to be baptized because she "wants to live her life the right way." She turned out to be a YSA, so we taught her later in the week, and she is totally ready. How can you think the work isn't hastening when things like that happen?! There's been a couple other situations like this in the zone. It's awesome! She's really solid and she loved our stake conference yesterday. She is being baptized on February 14th! We are trying to set up another time to meet with her this week. We didn't even have to let her know about the FHE activity tonight, because members already did at stake conference. I love that about this ward! The members aren't afraid to talk to new people and welcome them. We didn't get to meet with Jesse this week, and we saw Carina once. She has been doing good since her baptism. Other than that things are going good, and we are keeping pretty busy! 
   Elder Driggs is still doing awesome. He's really become such a good friend to me! It's been such a blessing to have him as a final companion and he helps me keep busy. I really love him a lot! 
   My testimony is doing really good. I love this Gospel so much! I really don't know where I would be without my testimony. It gives me the motivation to do what is right. I really think that if I didn't have my testimony, I would give in to the natural man so much, and my life would be such a mess, but my testimony motivates me to stay pure and clean. I don't even want to know what my life would be like without the Gospel! That also gives me a lot of motivation to share the Gospel with others. I love this work! I will miss it so much when that time comes that I won't be able to be fully invested in it. 

   Have a great week! Thank you so much for all your love and support! It means more to me than you'll ever know. Love and miss you lots! See you soon (:

Elder Teeples! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Carina's baptism was so awesome! We had an amazing week.

Hello (:

    Holy cow, this week was soooooooooooo crazy! We were busy the whole time. But it's good! I love being busy! This past week, I realized that when I try to lie to myself that my release date isn't as soon as it is, I just get more stressed out than usual, and more unhappy. I'm coming to just accept it, and I am finding a lot more peace. The Lord asked for 2 years, and my 2 years are almost up. Does that mean I can't serve anymore? NO! I just get to serve in different ways (: Although I will miss the missionary life, I feel fulfilled about the work and service I have rendered, and I am excited for what is beyond the horizon! It'll be great! 
    The area is doing awesome. We were so busy! We had a lot to do, preparing for all the baptisms and all. There were 4 in our stake this past week! That is awesome! We should have a couple other ones in the stake lined up before the end of the month. It was successful though! Good things are happening! We met with Carina a couple times, and they were all great. It was so amazing yesterday after she was confirmed! She seemed like a new person. She seemed a lot more happy. We got a nice set of scriptures, and Elder Driggs and I wrote our testimonies in them, then gave them to her. She loved them! She got interviewed for her temple recommend right after sacrament meeting, and she was so excited! She came up to us after Sunday school and showed us (: She's doing great. We met with Jesse, and he is doing great. I love him a lot! Although I've only taught him a couple times, he is one of my favorite investigators. He's just got a really good spirit about him, and I love that. 
    Elder Driggs is so awesome. He is such a huge help, especially helping me stay focused, while preparing me to go home. He is such a great final companion! I'll be grateful for him for ever. We get along really well, and things are going great as far as our companionship goes. We make the most of our musical talents together too, so that is fun (: 
    I've enjoyed reading my patriarchal blessing over a couple times this week. It is so powerful what Heavenly Father promises me, and the guidance He gives me. I'm so grateful for that! I've been searching for what my "gifts" are, and that has been way fun!

Thank you for all your love and support! I hope you have a wonderful week! Ya'll are in my prayers! See you soon (: 

   Elder Teeples!
Carina's baptism was sweet!

Our final Pday activity last week was walking onto the high-roller car lot, and snagging some pics in some sweet cars. Don't be too jealous (;

Monday, January 5, 2015

I'm the little drummer boy....no...really! That and..I'm coming home in like 3 weeks....but,....I'm not thinking about that :)

Hellooo (:

   This week was great! We did a lot of great work, and Elder Driggs and I were able to work really hard this week! We spent a lot of time putting together the stake report for our meeting with the stake president yesterday, but it was still really good! We got some quality time to go out and work (: We've been trying to talk to people about familysearch.org and it really helps. We'll start talking to someone, and they won't be interested at all, but then we tell them that we were actually just going to share that website with them, and they are like, "oh, really? Yeah I use that website sometimes." Haha! It's hilarious (: This one Jewish guy that we tracted into said that he actually uses it everyday. Pretty sweet, eh? I went on an another exchange with Elder Navarrete this week! That was a tender mercy! Since training him last year, and even since our exchange back in June, or whenever, I have seen so much growth in him. He has such a more positive outlook on everything! He used to be so negative all the time. He is doing good, and he is a great misisonary. He definitely teaches by the spirit. So that was awesome! He's hilarious, which makes it all the better!
   The area is doing great! Carina is set for this Saturday at 4 for her baptism. It should be fantastic! She is getting baptized at that time along with a couple other investigators in the Westlake family ward. It'll be great! Our investigator Jesse got back from Utah, so we're meeting with him this week. On my exchange with Elder Navarrete, we connected with one of our old investigators, Adam, from Newbury Park, and he was so happy to see us! We are actually going to start teaching him again! Hopefully he'll start coming to the YSA ward (: 
   Elder Driggs is doing awesome! We have been having some awesome companionship studies lately. He is so sincere about the work, and he is a great missionary. I have been so humbled, and so blessed to have him as my final companion of my mission. He's helping me to stay focused and he keeps me working hard. We are getting along really well, which is the cherry on top. He's great! 
   My testimony is doing great! I'm learning so much in my studies. This week I found a quote that said, "when you put God first in your life everything else either drops out of your life, or falls into its correct place," or something like that. It was a good one! It's out of the article about President Benson in this months Ensign. It's really good!
   For service this week, we helped a non member couple move stuff out of their home into a storage unit. It took a LONG time, but they were sooo appreciative of it! It was so cool to see how humbled they were. By the end they wanted to donate funds to our church, and while we were at the storage unit place, she was telling another lady how great we were for just helping her, and the lady she was talking to wants us to help her this Friday. She is going through a rough move right now (getting kicked out of her daughters house) so that should be a good experience! 
    Thank you for everything! I love and miss you lots! I hope you have a great week (: You're in my prayers! 

Elder Teeples (:
This is me jammin' on a sweet electric drumset! Elder Driggs took the pic when I wasn't expecting it... Pretty sweet though. (: I was in a mansion... literally. The biggest house I've ever been in! Multiple theaters, a game room, an indoor racquetball/basketball court, you name it... It was sweet (:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Carina's getting baptized on the 10th of Jan!!! Awesome!

Hellloooo (: 

   Wow, it's so crazy that Christmas is already over! Whoa. Christmas always such a great time of year, especially as a missionary. It has been the most amazing time being able to truly get into the spirit of giving everything to the Lord. I love it, because I have gained a pretty good testimony on sacrificing things for the Lord. It may take some faith giving up whatever it is (2 years, 10% of your income, etc.), but in the end you will truly find that what you "sacrifice" isn't a sacrifice after all, because the Lord blesses you with SOOOOOOOOOOO much more than you give up! It's truly amazes me and I feel the spirit testifying to me that that is true everytime I make a "sacrifice" for Him and His work. The Ewings had us over for Christmas dinner and that was a lot of fun! They are great. 
   The area is doing well! We had 4 lessons with Carina this week, one of which was the time we went over to her grandmother's house on Christmas Eve, and had the experience I told you about on the phone. (At least I think I told you.... basically we went over to visit her on Christmas Eve, and we ended up playing a couple Christmas songs for her whole family on the guitar and with us singing. Then we went inside to teach her, and slowly almost everyone that was outside came in to listen to us teach! It was so sweet! Then there was a lady named Angela who wanted to go to church, so we got her information to send to the missionaries in Simi Valley, where she lives. I asked her if she had a Book of Mormon and I pulled one out of my coat pocket to give to her, and she was like, "you'd just give that to me?" and I replied that it was our Christmas gift to her. She then explained that she had been searching for a Book of Mormon for a long time, and could only find one in Spanish from a used book store. She was super grateful and I'm pretty sure she's been contacted by the missionaries over there! #miracleshappen)  Carina is still excited to be baptized on January 10th! We'll be setting up a baptismal interview for her sometime soon. Our investigator Jesse has been in Utah for a while and we haven't found out when he's getting back, but we'll find that out soon. We met an Indian guy named Ulhas walking down the street this past week. He was really nice and recognized us as Mormon missionaries. He just moved to the states like a month ago, and he is a Christian. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and read Moroni 10:3-5 with him, and he understood it perfectly! I thought there would be a huge language barrier, but he understood it really well, and the spirit was super strong. He was really excited to read the Book of Mormon! He didn't show up to church yesterday like he said he would, but we have a lesson scheduled for this Tuesday at 8 pm and we're excited for it. 
    Elder Driggs is doing awesome. He really is such a strong missionary, and he loves being here. He's shared some of his personal experiences with me, and it was a long process for him to get on a mission. His experiences have really helped me! It really was a tender mercy for him to even be able to come on a mission. He's a fantastic teacher, and he always stays enthusiastic, which are two things I am trying to work on, so he's helping me with that. 
    I really love the atonement and all that it does. It has really carried me so much, and I wouldn't be who I am today with out it; and I won't be the person I am today when tomorrow comes around because of it, and I'm so grateful that I can change for the better. Change is always happening, and I love it! I found an amazing scripture yesterday during the sacrament. It's Isaiah 55:6 "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." That scripture really hit me, to always remember the Lord in the "good times" and to strengthen my testimony now, so when trials come, I will be able to "bear them with ease."
    For service this week we helped Carina dig out some tree stumps in her back yard. That's hard stuff! We were hacking and digging at two of them for like an hour, and we made a few dents, but they are still solidly stuck in the ground. It's amazing how many roots those things grow. We'll probably help her more with those this week. But it was a great week over all and we are excited for new years this week! It should be great. 
    Thank you for all your love and support! I hope you have a great week! Talk to you next week! 

That's me on Christmas morning! 
Elder Teeples!
Here's a couple random pictures... 
That's when I met Alex Boye. Ryan really wanted a picture with him!
And a sweet district picture that we took this morning!
Here's a pic of me and Elder Driggs. That was a cool game that they had for us at our mission's Christmas devotional. They had everyboy's baby pictures up on the wall with a number by each one, and we got a list of all the missionaries there and we had to go around and guess who's picture was who's. It was fun. (: Everybody got a kick out of how the right side of my head was bald. 

I was cooking bacon last night for dinner, and this is the apron I wore (: It's pretty sweet.